Gedling resident Paul Mace produces a regular Notts County podcast featuring former club players and managers. This week it’s the turn of Bob Worthington who recalls the Jimmy Sirrel era when a young Kevin Keegan christened Meadow Lane as ‘the land of the giants’. Each week at Gedling Eye we’ll be sharing the podcasts with our readers.
Kevin Keegan, Neil Warnock, Sir Bobby Charlton, Harry Redknapp and Brian Clough all have one thing in common ….
… all have been on the receiving end of some defensive ‘treatment’ from former Notts County left back Bob Worthington.
Worthington, a mainstay of Jimmy Sirrel’s all-conquering side of the early 1970s, lifts the lid in a revealing Magpie Circle podcast about Notts’ fearsome defensive wall which also included Brian Stubbs and David Needham.
His alumni of opponents who didn’t get past him included Keegan (Scunthorpe), Warnock (Rotherham reserves), Charlton (Preston North End), Redknapp (Bournemouth) and Clough (Sunderland reserves).
“Kevin Keegan christened us the ‘the land of the giants’ because we had such a tall team. I didn’t used to worry too much about marking Kevin, he was a young, small lad in those days,” recalls Worthington.
“Neil Warnock did a bad tackle in a reserves game on one of our lads. I caught him and the ball at the same time and he went six feet up in the air.
“When I clattered Bobby Charlton playing for Preston at the end of his career, he just looked at me from the ground in disdain.
“I was 16 playing for Halifax reserves at Sunderland in Brian Clough’s comeback game from injury. I wished him all the best.
“I came up against Harry in Notts v Bournemouth games which were always very tasty. Before the warm-up as we walked onto the pitch, I threw Harry a ball and said take a touch, ‘cos you won’t get one in the game.’
Worthington’s hilarious anecdotes also include how he celebrated his only goal for Notts in over 200 games by dropping his shorts and giving a V sign to Magpies supporters for barracking the team.
And his vain attempt to try to help younger brother Frank Worthington pass his medical for Liverpool at the second time of asking.